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Thematic areas for Master projects

The Master's programme in Molecular Sciences offers Master projects within five different thematic areas: 

1.       Chemistry of the Cell

2.       Drug Discovery and Design

3.       Scientific Computing in Chemistry and Biology

4.       Functional materials

5.       Catalysis

These projects can be theoretical or experimental in nature, or a combination of these, and might be applied to basic and applied research questions.

 

1.       Chemistry of the Cell

This thematic area is for students that wish to focus their master studies on research questions relevant to understanding cellular processes.  Understanding the function of cellular macromolecules, individually and in complex intermolecular interactions, is essential to understand the regulation of processes in living cells and, the origins of disease; this in turn inspires the innovation of new eco-friendly catalysts or diagnostic tools for medicine or industry. Recent advances enable new approaches to study the total set of cellular macromolecules in single experiments, promising new and exciting discoveries.

Projects may be chosen from among a diverse set of topics, ranging from cell communication networks in marine bacteria, to the extraction of biologically active compounds from living marine cells, to development of algorithms, software solutions and e-infrastructure for studying cellular macromolecules (for example, DNA and specific genes, cellular RNA, enzymes or other proteins). Project technologies may involve one or more of: molecular biotechnology techniques, macromolecular crystallography, NMR-spectroscopy, protein chemistry, enzymology and chemo- and bioinformatics. Thus, projects offered in this thematic area can be theoretical or experimental in nature, or a combination of these, with a focus ranging from pure basic research to highly applied industrial product development.

 

Available disciplines; Biomolecular Chemistry and Bioinformatics

 

2.       Drug Discovery and Design

This thematic area offers opportunities to focus on research questions relevant to the discovery and design of new medicines.  The development of new medicines, new applications of medicines, and new methods of drug discovery is essential to sustain and improve human health, especially in the context of aging populations and drug resistance. The increasing knowledge of the molecular mechanisms behind disease, high-resolution structural data of molecular drug targets, and binding data for large sets of compounds has resulted in novel interdisciplinary ways of approaching drug discovery.

A Master’s degree with in Drug Discovery and Design will involve research projects with inter- or intradepartmental collaborations, under the guidance of thesis advisors with interdisciplinary expertise. Coursework providing a survey of drug design methods will guide the choice of a project with potential application in disease areas (e.g. anticancer or antimicrobial therapeutics). Project technologies may typically include chemical synthesis, synthetic method development, protein crystallography, spectroscopic studies, chem- and bioinformatics, medical imaging and diagnostics, and computational modeling. The commercial potential of this area of applied research is high, with the generation of novel intellectual property. Thus, projects offered in this thematic area may involve a high degree of confidentiality, depending on patenting strategies.

 

Available disciplines: Chemical Synthesis and Spectroscopy, Biomolecular Chemistry, Theoretical and Computational Chemistry,

 

3.       Scientific Computing in Chemistry and Biology

This thematic area is for students who wish to focus their master studies on research questions in chemistry and biological chemistry that can be addressed by a variety of scientific computing tools, such as the development and/or application of novel computational tools to simulate chemically and biologically relevant processes or to develop tools relevant for bioinformatics. Scientific computing in an indispensable tool in scientific research and is broadly applied to assist in making new compounds, interpreting chemical reactivity, explaining molecular properties and increasing our understanding of biological data. With modern software and high-performance computers and data storage, realistic simulations or data analysis of chemical and biomolecular systems as well as bacterial genomics and metagenomics can be obtained, achieving deep insight which might otherwise be inaccessible, difficult or expensive to obtain through experimental techniques.

Within this thematic area, the department offers research projects ranging from theoretical development in quantum chemistry, to the implementation of novel computational tools in the form of high performance code (Fortran/C/C++) or scripting tools (Python), or purely applied projects. Specific projects might involve simulation of chemical processes, bioinformatics, biocatalysis and enzyme design, homogenous catalysts, complex molecular environments such as metalloenzymes and nanoparticles, development of methods for simulating established and novel spectroscopies, as well as heavy and superheavy elements.

The specialization will provide the candidate with competence in advanced programmeming, high-performance computing, scripting, and computational modeling as research methods.

 

Available disciplines: Theoretical and Computational Chemistry, Chemical Synthesis and Spectroscopy, Bioinformatics.

 

4.       Functional materials

This thematic area is for students that wish to focus their master studies on research questions involving analysis and design of functional, often nanostructured, materials. Within this area, nanoscale (i.e. 1-100 nm) structures are of special interest. A variety of nanostructured materials are synthesized, characterized, and theoretically modeled at the Department of Chemistry. Specific systems being studied include dye-sensitized solar cells, liquid crystals, metal-organic frameworks, and biofilms. Theoretical modeling of such materials is challenging, given their large scale relative to atoms and molecules, and typically involve multiscale modeling methods including quantum, classical, and continuum mechanics.

 

Available disciplines: Chemical Synthesis and Spectroscopy, Theoretical and Computational Chemistry.

 

5.       Catalysis

This thematic area is for students that wish to focus their master studies on research questions involving analysis and design of catalysts for biochemical and industrially relevant reactions. Catalysts are able to increase the rate of chemical reactions, resulting in chemical processes that otherwise might be too slow to occur or might be too costly. Many industrial processes are dependent on the use of catalysts, and most biochemical reactions in the body can only occur because they are catalyzed by protein catalysts (enzymes).

Research into catalysis is a large activity at the Department of Chemistry, and involves diverse applications, including homogeneous catalysts, biomimetic catalysts modeled after metalloenzymes, light-catalyzed reactions, and analysis and design of industrially relevant biocatalysts for reactions. A variety of tools are applied in the research of catalytic reactions and their mechanisms, ranging from laboratory work (enzyme cloning and expression, organic and inorganic synthesis, spectroscopic studies) to molecular modeling techniques (quantum chemical and molecular dynamics analysis of reaction pathways). Highly interdisciplinary projects involving a combination of theoretical and experimental methods are also available.

 

Available disciplines: Theoretical and Computational Chemistry, Biomolecular Chemistry, Chemical Synthesis and Spectroscopy.

 




Ansvarlig for siden: Renate Lie Larsen
Sist oppdatert: 24.01.2018 15:58